Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli showed her support for gender equality during the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, as a priority for the Financial period 2021-2027, according to a press release by the government’s Department of Information (DOI).
Malta believes that the Europan Union budget should include measures that address gender inequalities in all spheres, as the EU budget is an excellent tool that has contributed to social and economic development across Europe, the DOI press statement underscores.
The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) can also play a crucial role in contributing to achieving this aim. Minister Dalli also reiterated her calls about the need to protect the EU’s cohesion policy, in order to address regional disparities, the DOI press release says.
This was the last in a series of debates on the MFF 2021-2027 held under the Romanian Presidency. The General Affairs Council will then continue discussions with a view of reaching an agreement before the end of 2019, as agreed to by leaders in the December 2018 European Council Conclusions. In this context, Minister Dalli focussed on the need for further progress and compromise, n order to ensure that there are no delays.
In addition, discussions on the Conclusions on Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process focused on the European Commission’s positive recommendation for the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and The Republic of North Macedonia.
In the absence of an agreement between member states on this matter, Minister Dalli stressed the importance of proceeding on a merits-based approach and sending a strong message to these countries, also as a matter of credibility for the European Union.
Minister Dalli also made reference to the Valletta Declaration adopted last Friday in which the Southern Mediterranean EU member states expressed solidarity with Cyprus in the context of the current challenges with Turkey.
Ms Dalli also highlighted the importance of keeping a channel of communication with Turkey, noting that continued engagement can play a vital role.
The General Affairs Council finalised its preparations for the European Council scheduled for this Thursday and Friday in Brussels, which is expected to focus on institutional appointments, MFF, climate change, and external relations.